I love lavender and that is why I make 3 different lavender soaps.
The scent of lavender is one of the most popular and recognized fragrances in the world. It comes from Lavandula Angustifolia, an evergreen woody shrub that is native to the western Mediterranean, primarily the mountains in northern Spain. Today it is grown all over the world. The whole plant is strongly aromatic but the flowers, which are produced on long spikes, are the part that is distilled to make the essential oil.
Lavender is such a versatile plant. It’s constituents give it antibacterial, relaxing, uplifting, insect repelling, and sedative properties.
The essential oil was an ingredient in a tincture known as palsy drops which was used until the 1940’s to relieve muscle spasms, nervousness, and headaches. Tests show that it is helpful in destroying bacterial infections and it has been used successfully in ointments for burns and itching insect bites. Lavender essential oil is still used today to fragrance soaps, as a relaxant in massage and aroma therapies, in perfumery and many other industries.
The flowers are also used in food mostly in the French herb blend herbes de provence but also in baked goods, honey and teas. I love relaxing with a cup of black tea with lavender honey. It gives it such a peaceful, uplifting aroma and taste.
One of the things I love most about lavender is the dried flowers and how they never lose their scent. It makes them the perfect flower to use in sachets, lavender wands, sleep pillows and all kinds of scented crafts. Sachets made with the flowers are used to aid in sleep, relieve headaches, repel moths, or just to give linens and clothing a wonderful aroma. Victorian women prone to fainting would carry lavender-scented hankies to revive themselves.
I love using lavender essential oil in my soaps because it is known to help with all kinds of skin problems like acne, bruising, inflammations, burns, and eczema, besides its uplifting and relaxing aroma.
As a garden plant you couldn’t ask for anything better. It prefers rocky, sandy, dry soils. There are many different cultivars but most are perennial to zone 5 which is where I live. You can also get a range of flower colors from deep purple to light pink and even white. Lavender likes to have its flowers picked and that helps the plant to grow. I have planted it all around my deck for beauty as well as a mosquito repellent. Next year I am going to add it to the flower garden.
So if you want to feel calm and happy you should get some lavender to sniff in the form of fresh flowers, essential oil, soap, or a sachet but just make sure it’s the real thing because only mother nature can provide all those benefits to you.